No one really enjoys waiting.
Whether it’s waiting for the weekend, a parcel to arrive, public transport, a holiday, or something to change in our lives, it can be hard to wait without becoming frustrated. We want things right now.
Advent is a season of waiting and preparation. In all the busyness of the run up to Christmas, we can forget that we’re waiting and preparing ourselves for more than the festivities of Christmas Day itself. It can be so easy to go through the motions of Advent and Christmas without considering the incredible gift we were all given when Jesus was born. We count down the days on our advent calendars, but how often do we reflect on what we’re actually waiting for?
When Jesus arrived as a baby, He was coming into a world which had been anticipating His arrival for hundreds of years. All through the Old Testament, we see people prophesying the birth of Jesus. In the book of Micah it says: ‘But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are too small to be among the army groups from Judah, from you will come one who will rule Israel for me. He comes from very old times, from days long ago’ (Micah 5:2 NCV). We might wonder why it took so long for Jesus to arrive, but God’s timing is perfect. He knew exactly the right time for Jesus to be born. And He knew exactly the right person to be His mother. When Mary was told she would be the one to give birth to the Saviour of the world, she had to wait for months until it was the right time for Jesus to be born. What went through her mind during this time? Maybe she was afraid of what lay ahead. Or maybe she waited with hope and excitement for all that was to come.
When God promises us something, do we wait patiently? Or do we become disappointed when the wait is taking longer than we thought it would? The longer we have to wait, the harder it can be to keep trusting. Doubts rise up and we wonder if God really spoke to us at all. The Bible says: ‘Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord’ (Psalm 27:14 NLT). Waiting expectantly for God requires us to be courageous. We have to choose to push aside the doubts and disappointments, and believe that God’s faithful. We need to trust that God will come through at the right time, in the right way.
What are you waiting for this Advent? Healing? Freedom? An improvement in your circumstances? A clear vision for your future? Jesus came to bring healing, freedom, purpose, joy, peace, and salvation to those who had waited for so long for Him, but many people missed out because they were expecting someone different. Are we waiting patiently for God, trusting Him to provide what we need, or are we trying to find what we need elsewhere?
This Advent, let’s spend less time focusing on the calendars, present buying, food and family gatherings, and more time focusing on the One who came to save us and reconnect us with God. And one day He’ll come again – at just the right time.